BYU rugby: Cougars run over the Glendale Raptors in home opener

By Kelby Jones

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, March 1 2014 6:55 p.m. MST

BYU rugby returned to South Field in Provo on Saturday with a 101-13 victory over the Glendale Raptors Division II team. The Cougars got the strong start at home they were looking for heading into next week’s game against No.1 Saint Mary’s.

“Overall, I thought it was a good performance,” BYU head coach David Smyth said. “From a structural perspective the boys did better than they have done in the past few games.”

BYU got on the board early when team captain Kyle Sumsion broke away and made a last second pass to teammate Will Taylor for the try in the seventh minute. Glendale answered with a long penalty kick in the 10th minute, but the first half ultimately belonged to the home team. The Cougars went on to score six more tries in the half and went into halftime with a commanding 40-6 lead.

“We came out strong and were able to do a lot of the things we’ve been working on in practice,” Smyth said.

BYU continued its success immediately following halftime as Kyle Lontine scored a try less than one minute into the second half. The Cougars went on to score seven more times before the game was over, including an impressive try by Ryan Blaser on the final play of the game. BYU captain Jonathan Linehan was good on the conversion with no time left to help BYU surpass the century mark in points.

“We play our best rugby when we’re having fun and today we had fun,” Linehan said. “Even though it was wet and bad conditions we still had so much fun together and played BYU rugby.”

Overall, 12 different players scored for the Cougars, including reserve newcomer John Lamont who scored two second half tries in the 64th and 66th minutes. BYU was able to turn to its reserves early in the game as it became clear BYU would win easily.

“I did what I was supposed to do and I enjoyed it,” Lamont said. “I’ve only played rugby for six months of my life and I look forward to playing more in upcoming games.”

With the win, BYU moves to 8-1 on the season. The Cougars look to continue their winning ways next Saturday in a rematch against Saint Mary’s in Provo. BYU is seeking revenge as the Gaels handed the Cougars their only loss of the season.

“We’ve got to be a lot more physical than we were the first time we played [Saint Mary’s],” Sumsion said. “The boys are a lot more prepared and we’re definitely going to go after them this time.”

BYU faces Saint Mary's on March 8 on South Field in Provo. The game begins at 1 p.m. and can be followed live on YouTube and Twitter.

Kelby Jones is a student at BYU studying public relations and currently writes for BYU Rugby.

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